Small Changes Make a Big Difference

September 16th, 2015

Just a few weeks ago, Google unveiled a new logo that shook the Internet. Designers everywhere went into a frenzy and openly voiced their opinions on the new look. Some protested that the redesign was “just a simple font change.” Others claimed that Google missed the opportunity to take a creative leap. Most, however, are on board for the new look, and for good reason.

But why change something that has been part of such an iconic brand for nearly 20 years? The brand update reflects Google’s evolution from a simple desktop search engine into a mega-brand that lives on a multitude of apps and devices. With a sleeker and simpler look, the new Google branding can easily translate across any platform and screen size.

Since the original Google logo debuted in 1998, there have been many variations of the six-lettered word. As the logo evolved, the letters dropped details reminiscent of the original logo and became simpler. The drop shadow was removed and the shading on the letters decreased until the letters were completely flat color.

Then, on September 1, 2015, Google revealed a new logo and brand identity that took the idea of “simplified” one step further.

Along with a custom drawn san-serif font for the new logotype, the Google brand now incorporates four colored dots and a four-colored “G” icon that matches the logo. These small pieces give nicely to animation, allowing the logo to easily transform into the four dots, and then to the G icon in a few quick motions. The transitions are simple, but the movement from one element to another feels fluid and reinforces the idea that everything Google is cohesive and part of a brand family. More importantly, the elements gain a bit of personality that the previous logo did not.

So is the new Google logo a success? Yes.

Since the start of Google, the brand has always moved towards the idea of simplicity. (Think: The Google homepage is entirely white with just the logo in the center.) Now, in a world where you can “Google it” from just about any device – on computers, phones, tablets, smart watches and more – it’s important to deliver a cohesive brand experience across all sizes and shapes. The six colored letters stay true to the original logo, but also remind us that Google is a brand that has personality with the slight tilt of the “e” and the subtle animations.

As your company evolves, so should your brand image. A refresh of the logo and identity can breathe new life, energy and excitement into a business that may need a boost. Or maybe your company’s goals have changed. In the end, your brand, as embodied by a logo, website, other materials must always deliver a consistent look and feel in order to create a lasting impression.

Stefanie Osmond

Stefanie is Springboard's graphic designer and creative problem solver. Beyond her desk, she spends her time crafting, trying out new dinner recipes, watching competitive baking competitions, and sipping on tea.

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